Saturday, August 25, 2012


Australia, with a population of 20 million, does not have as many writers’ conferences as say, the UK or USA. But below are a few which might interest people from overseas. They are well worth a visit in my opinion.
My favourite one based on its comprehensive coverage is GenreCon – see below.

Brisbane Writers’ Festival

This year the Festival is from 5-9 September. Each year it brings tens of thousands of readers together with the writers who inspire them in a setting of parkland and water. You can find conversations ranging from fiction to politics, science to sustainability and everything in between. Writers and readers share stories of adventure, travel, history, music and memoirs at writer talks, bookstalls, book readings and feature events. There are
workshops, masterclasses and seminars for everyone from the novice to the experienced professional.

Somerset College Celebration of Literature

Somerset College is in South East Queensland and has a history of nurturing writers. Next year its conference will be 13-15 March 2013. Their novella writing competition is now open for secondary school students. Submit a 10,000-20,000 word novella on any topic. State winners receive cash prizes and gain writing advice from the Penguin Group (Australia) as well as attending the Celebration of Literature conference. It is a wonderful opportunity for budding writers.

Sydney Writers’ Festival

Sydney Writers' Festival is Australia’s largest annual literary celebration of literature and ideas The Festival returns on 20-26 May 2013. Each year there are more than 300 events in venues stretching from the Festival hub at Walsh Bay to the Blue Mountains. For one week every May authors of the very best contemporary fiction and writers of cutting edge nonfiction, including some of the world's leading public intellectuals, scientists and journalists are in attendance.

Byron Bay Writers’ Festival

This festival is renowned throughout Australia for its beautiful seaside setting and often for the sculptures that are created especially for the festival week.
You can be assured that at Byron Bay every possible type of author is represented from fantasy writers right down to environmental activist authors. It is a festival for the common man but with enough substance to please those with literary leanings i.e. it is fun and engaging and does not encourage navel-gazing.


This three-day conference brings together Australian and international genre professionals and usually features agents and reviewers as well as representatives of every possible genre – romance, mystery, science fiction, crime, fantasy, horror and thrillers. It is considered to be one part professional development and one part celebration.

Romance Writers of Australia Conference

These annual conferences take place in a different city each year. This year it is the Gold Coast. Next year for the first time it will be in Western Australia. RWA conferences are packed with assistance for writers and often non-romance writers attend to hone their skills. This year’s conference (just finished), was wildly successful. The setting, with many hotel rooms overlooking the sea, was conducive to bonhomie and judging from the hundreds of photos on Facebook, everyone not only networked to the fullest, but also most people gained a "snap!" moment when something clicked so that they came away energized. The RWA conferences are renowned for the numbers of workshops held by overseas authors.
ARRA Conference (Australian Romance Readers Association)

Prior to the RWA conference this year, the ARRA held a book-signing event. The ARRA, joined by people the world over, also has its own convention every second year and the 2013 one will be held at the Mercure Hotel in Brisbane (Queensland) on 1-3 March next. The keynote speakers will be Kristan Higgins, Anne Grace and Rachel Vincent.